Unless there is some sort of big news between now and the start of Friday night’s game between Tampa Bay and Miami, I’m going into the bunker for the next few hours to write the Camp Confidential Profile on the Carolina Panthers that is scheduled to run Sunday. Meantime, I’ll let you ponder some of the team-by-team highlights from Friday’s NFC South chat.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Curt Dunedin Florida [via mobile]: Why doesn't Josh Freeman get the love Stafford or Sanchez does?
Pat Yasinskas: Umm, maybe because Bucs lost the last 10 games of last year. He was getting plenty of love at this time last year. He can get it back by going out and winning a few games. That would be a start.
Ryan (Baltimore): What do you think of schiano trading/cutting players like briscoe, price, winslow, and jackson but not a player like talib? What exactly is the message hes sending?
Pat Yasinskas: By all accounts, Talib has been a model citizen since Schiano's arrival. He says he knows he can't have any more problems and maybe he won't. If he does, he'll probably join the others very quickly.
JOHN (BIG TEX): Pat, how can anyone really predict or judge the buccs at this point? they have a offensive scheme and new players in key positions. I get hyped reading the material but then come to realize, this is a new team.
Pat Yasinskas: Yeah, but it will be fun to watch tonight, just to start getting an idea what the new offense and defense will look like.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Sean (Vegas): I don't know if Lofton got in better shape or what, but he looks fast and looks like he has the ability to be a 3 down LB. What was ATL thinking? More than happy to have him on the Saints.
Pat Yasinskas: Think Lofton did intentionally drop some weight. Plus, he's on a mission to prove he is a three-down LB. Like I've said before, there's more to that story. Falcons wanted him back, but not for his original asking price. He didn't get anything close to original asking price from Saints and Falcons still had comparable offer on the table. But I think Lofton's pride was so wounded that he felt he couldn't go back to Atlanta.
Robert (Wilmington): Have the Saints decided yet who will be the HC for the first 6 games while Vitt is out or will they just draw straws at kickoff?
Pat Yasinskas: No official word from Saints. Early reports said Aaron Kromer will be the guy, but Saints insist no decision has been made.
Tim (Athens): Pat, do you think Vilma will play this season?
Pat Yasinskas: Even if the suspension is overturned somehow, I'm not sure he's healthy enough to play right away.
John (Charlotte,NC): How big of an impact do you think Josh Norman will make this season?
Pat Yasinskas: Could be very big. They were extraordinarily high on him at June minicamp. He had a little health issue that kept him out for part of training camp. If he can pick up where he left off, he has a legitimate chance to start.
Stephen (Superman) (Winston Salem): Should Panther fans be worried about Beason's "minor" hamstring injury? We have heard it too many times before... Granted this is RR's team now, not Fox.
Pat Yasinskas: Think you answered that on your own. Rivera says it's minor and Beason will be practicing next week. No reason to doubt him and no reason to put Beason out there for 10 snaps in the first preseason game.
Ben (Atlanta GA): Based on your observations, and given his bad clutch kicking last year, are the odds in favor of Mare getting cut from the CAR roster in favor of Justin Medlock?
Pat Yasinskas: Mare is very much on the hot seat. It's going to come down to how he and Medlock kick in the preseason.
Rick (Kennesaw): Id say the Falcons first team on both sides were everything they had promised. They picked apart the third ranked defense and our defense was rock solid. What was your take Pat?
Pat Yasinskas: Pretty much the same as your take. It was a good outing for the starters. Couldn't ask for a better start. Now, backups were a completely different story, but that's the nature of the preseason.
CB (charleston): should Atlanta be in the market for a backup QB? they looked pretty terrible last night.
Pat Yasinskas: No, I think Redman is decent if you have to use him with the first team. What's out there that's better? There aren't a lot of good backup QBs in the league these days.
Scott (maine): Ever since last nights injury to dent I was wondering who atlanta could bring in if the injury is serious?
Pat Yasinskas: Not sure there's anybody worth it currently available. Might have to wait for other teams to make roster cuts and see who pops free. Or maybe even try to trade for someone. But let's wait to see what Smith has to say about the injury. If it's a fairly standard concussion, then Dent should be ready to go before regular season.
ByHenSr (Kenner, LA.): Hi Pat, love the job you're doing, keep it up. If last night is any indication, I think Julio Jones may well be the best wide receiver in the NFC South. (and no I haven't forgotten about Steve Smith) Agree or disagree?
Pat Yasinskas: Can't put up much of an argument, IF he plays like that all the time. Spread his numbers out over four quarters and he would have had 24 catches for 436 yards and four touchdowns, if my math is correct.
Here’s the complete transcript of the NFC South chat.